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Our Mental Health Blogs

I’m Trying to Win Against Bipolar Disorder and I Hate It

I’m Trying to Win Against Bipolar Disorder and I Hate It

Trying to win against bipolar disorder is a full-time job. It's a job I hate. Learn why trying to win against bipolar disorder daily is so hard.I consider bipolar disorder to by my main enemy most of the time and I’m trying to win against my bipolar disorder. But the word “try” sucks. I hate the word “try.” Yes, I’m “trying” to win against my bipolar disorder but all this “trying” is exhausting and full of failure.

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With Bipolar Depression, How Many Days Until I Get Better?

With Bipolar Depression, How Many Days Until I Get Better?

I have spent a great many years with this bipolar disorder thing. I have spent a great many years dealing with it. I have spent a great many years suffering with it. I have spent a great many years with medication unsuccessfully controlling it. I have spent a great many years in pain.

And when in an episode, for me it’s a depressive episode, I just want to know, “how many days until I get better? How many more days do I have to live in this agony?”

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Why You Can’t Give Up On Bipolar Treatment, Even If Your Doctor Does

Why You Can’t Give Up On Bipolar Treatment, Even If Your Doctor Does

When I was first diagnosed, I went through 18 months of medication trials without success. I initially tried a bunch of antidepressants thanks to misdiagnosis and then I went through mood stabilizers when it was confirmed that I had bipolar disorder.

And every medication was pretty much the same. I would take the drug, it would induce horrible side effects, I wouldn’t be able to tolerate the drug and then I would have to try something else. It was unadulterated hell.

After 18 months of that, I went to my psychiatrist’s appointment, sat down and looked at my doctor as he threw his hands in the air and said, “I can’t help you. You’re no longer my patient.”

My doctor had fired me.

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Do People Want You To Stay Mentally Ill?

Do People Want You To Stay Mentally Ill?

While it seems hard to believe, some people want others to stay mentally ill and, indeed, sometimes even individuals themselves, choosing to maintain mental unwellness. You have the obvious example of people refusing medication and thus becoming very sick but there are other forces as well that can encourage a person to stay acutely, mentally ill.

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Will My Bipolar Son Be Okay?

Will My Bipolar Son Be Okay?

It’s devastating to get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder or another mental illness. It means many things to many people, but I know for me, it meant a lifetime condition and a lifetime of treatment. It honestly felt like a death sentence.

But a bipolar diagnosis doesn’t just affect the person with bipolar disorder. A bipolar diagnosis can affect their family and friends, especially if the person with bipolar disorder is younger. It’s completely understandable for a parent to wonder if bipolar disorder is a death sentence. It’s completely understandable for a parent to wonder if his or her child is going to be okay.

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Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Works if You Want it To

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Works if You Want it To

OK, maybe it seems like I’m being a bit hard on commenters. I swear I’m not. I like people who comment and express their opinion, but sometimes their opinion spurs one of my own. This is one such comment:

I’m bipolar, and I think we ALL should have to take a Dialectal Behavior Therapy course. The DBT course helps with coping skills, year class, and helps  . . . these skills work if you want them too.

Here’s someone singing the praises of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). She would certainly not be alone as many people find DBT to be helpful. The problem I have with this comment is the last bit, “these skills work if you want them too [sic].”

So, this means that if the skills learned in DBT don’t work for someone it’s because they didn’t want them to?

I don’t think so.

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Are You Stronger If You’re Not On Bipolar Medications?

Are You Stronger If You’re Not On Bipolar Medications?

Last time, I wrote about the terrors of getting on new bipolar medication. Many people identified with this, including one commenter who said:

Sounds all too familiar. I’ve been drug free for several years and seriously doubt that I will ever put myself through that trial and error program again . . . at least for me, that relief is not to be found at the bottom of an orange vial with a childproof cap. I hope you find something to relieve the pain. I also hope you consider the notion that you’re likely stronger and more resourceful than you think you are.

Now, I’m not calling out this commenter for doing anything wrong. I have no problem with his comment, nor with him. However, I find this comment insulting. Not because the commenter meant it to be, but because it suggests that people who don’t take medication for bipolar disorder are “stronger and more resourceful” than those who do.

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Facing the Terrors of New Bipolar Medication

Facing the Terrors of New Bipolar Medication

I have been on every bipolar medication you can name and likely a few you could not. I have been on more medication combinations than I can remember. I have spent years dealing with medication side effects. There is very little medication pain that I cannot tolerate. I have taken medications that have made me feel amazingly well and bipolar medications that have made me feel intolerably ill. I’ve seen treatment miracles and treatment devastations. And still, I feel nothing but terror when I think of taking new bipolar medication.

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The Best of the Breaking Bipolar Blog in 2012

The Best of the Breaking Bipolar Blog in 2012

In one year I write over 100 blog articles for Breaking Bipolar. I’m honoured to say that many people have responded to this writing and it has spawned many great conversations. Popular topics this year ranged from self-harm to passing down of bipolar to your kids to the understanding of mental illness.

Check out these popular articles you might have missed.

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Bipolar and Bipolar Treatment are Moving Targets

Bipolar and Bipolar Treatment are Moving Targets

As I’ve mentioned, recently I’ve started volunteering for a local bipolar organization and what I do is give presentations to others. One part of the presentation is my “bipolar story.” It’s the story of my life before diagnosis, the process of treatment and whatnot. It’s long and, well, not that happy.

But one of the things that stands out is that treatments have turned me around, but then they stopped working and new treatments had to be found. And these new treatments were extremely hard to find. In fact, successful treatments have been found through guessing as often as through any type of clinical judgement.

And there’s a reason for this: bipolar disorder and bipolar disorder treatment are moving targets and our responses have to move with them.

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